The Minnesota Vikings have recognized QB Christian Ponder as the Vikings Children’s Fund Rookie of the Year for 2011 and will present Ponder with the trophy at today’s annual VCF Golf Tournament. A $5,000 donation will also be made in Ponder’s name to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.
Ponder started the final 10 games of his rookie campaign in 2011 and was heavily involved in Vikings Community Tuesday events and various outreach initiatives.
“Christian showed great poise and leadership during his rookie season,” said Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier in a press release by the team. “His presence in the locker room and his willingness to help teammates speaks to his character.”
The first award of its kind for the Vikings, the annual Rookie of the Year award will be presented following each season moving forward and will recognize the member of the previous rookie class that best represented himself and the franchise on and off the field. The chosen player will be honored with a $5,000 donation to a 501c3 organization of his choice, and the trophy will be displayed in the Winter Park headquarters.
“I’m honored to receive this award and hope to build a strong tradition of young players being involved in the community,” Ponder said. “As players we have the chance to make a difference in the lives of kids and families. I hope next year’s winner is as humbled by this as I am.”